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Sandy Journal

Alta Hawks encouraged by competitive loss to East

Sep 05, 2018 01:53PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Bryson Fabrizio returns a kickoff against East High.

By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com

The Alta high school football team sustained its first loss of the season last weekend, losing to the 6A heavyweight East Leopards 23-10.

"They're loaded. They have a lot of great talent. But we didn't back down. We played hard. That's what I wanted," said Alta head coach Alema Te'o.

Throughout much of the game, the Hawks defense was able to contain East's vaunted triple-option rushing attack. On their first three possessions, East punted or turned the ball over on downs. The first Leopard touchdown didn't come until after their offense was set up in the red zone following an Alta turnover.

By the end of the night, the Alta defense forced seven turnovers (five fumbles, one interception and one turnover on down's).

"They played fantastic. So proud of them. It's a really tough offense, one of the biggest teams in the state. We don't have the size they have but football is about effort and determination," said Alta defensive coordinator Jim Herman.

Herman pointed out that the two score difference in the game was a result of just two missed assignments resulting in long touchdown runs for East. "If we don't miss those two assignments, it would have gone right down to the wire," he said.

Competing so well with one of the best teams in the state is a good sign that Alta will be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to region play and the 5A tournament, said Herman.

Alta's offense, however, struggled against a very good East defense. The problems started up front, where an inexperienced Alta offensive line went up against a formidable East defensive line that included 6'4" 320 pound defensive tackle Siaki Ika, the #1 rated high school recruit in the state of Utah.

"They had a baptism by fire tonight," said Te'o about the offensive line.

The Hawks only accrued a total of 50 yards on offense over the course of the game, including -18 yards of rushing.

Alta's ten points were the result of a field goal following a kickoff return by Bryson Fabrizio that set the offense up inside the 10-yard line, and a touchdown pass from backup quarterback Cinco Lucero to Dallin Pan in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.

Despite the loss, the Hawks players and coaches were upbeat and positive following the game. 

"All of our goals are still in tact. Region championship. State championship. It's right in front of us," Te'o told his team.

Up next for the Hawks is their home-opener against Farmington High (0-3) Friday night at 7 p.m.